Obesity and Cancer in Asia

  • Wanghong Xu
  • Charles E. Matthews
Part of the Energy Balance and Cancer book series (EBAC, volume 2)


Obesity has emerged as a major public health challenge for both developed and developing countries. Like more developed countries where obesity represents an increasingly important risk factor for many cancers [1, 2], numerous studies conducted in Asian countries suggest that long-term positive energy balance that leads to elevated adiposity also contributes to the development of many chronic diseases, including the burden associated with a number of different cancer types [3–12]. While the biological mechanisms linking elevated adiposity to cancer do not appear to be markedly different in these populations, there are several unique features of the obesity–cancer association in Asia that are important to understand in relation to cancer prevention and control. First, given the population size and age structure of the larger countries in Asia, the impact of these countries on the worldwide cancer burden is now substantial and in future years will only increase. Second, there are differences in the body size and composition of Asian as compared to Caucasian adults that translate to important differences in association between obesity and cancer, relative to findings from studies conducted among Caucasian adults in the West. In this chapter we will focus on several of these features through review of the epidemiologic evidence available from selected countries in East (e.g., China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore) and Southern Asia (e.g., India, Pakistan).


Waist Circumference Endometrial Cancer Chinese Woman Asian Woman Gastric Cardia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and GeneticsNational Cancer InstituteRockvilleUSA

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